Vaughn Palmer

(talks to Joseph Planta with Rafe Mair looking on)



Reporter 1973-76, rock music critic 1976-80 and City Editor 1980-82 Vancouver Sun; journalism fellowship Stanford University San Francisco 1982-83; editorial writer then provincial affairs columnist Vancouver Sun Victoria 1983-current; co-recipient Jack Webster Award for reporting 1988; edited Bruce Hutchison collection To Canada With Love and Some Misgivings: The Best of Bruce Hutchison 1991; winner Hyman Solomon Award for excellence in public policy journalism 1998; contributor CBC Radio/TV Vancouver numerous occasions 1990s-current; host Voice of BC Shaw Cable current; contributor CKNW Morning News with Philip Till 2005-current; recipient Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award 2006




(Copyright Vancouver Sun 2006)


Vaughn Palmer is 'in the tradition of the great political journalists in our country's history'


Vaughn Palmer, The Vancouver Sun's veteran B.C. political affairs columnist, has been named the recipient of the 2006 Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jack Webster Foundation.


The award, the highest for journalism in B.C., is named after Palmer's late friend and mentor, whose own remarkable career covered six decades.


"Bruce meant a lot to me and that makes it special," Palmer said Tuesday.


"Webster and Hutchison together in the name of an award are a pretty impressive combination, so I am very touched and honoured and grateful."


Patricia Graham, The Sun's editor-in-chief, said she could not think of a more apt recipient than Palmer.


"I consider him the best political commentator in Canada -- for his encyclopedic knowledge, his prodigious memory, his ability to get the story and keep the ideas coming, his terrific contacts, his fine, incisive writing -- and he's got a wicked sense of humour to boot," she said.


"The man is unbeatable; simply a superb journalist."


Palmer began his career with The Sun in 1973 as a reporter, and subsequently became the newspaper's rock music critic, city editor and an editorial writer before moving to the paper's legislature bureau in Victoria in 1984.


Since then, he has covered the rise and fall of eight premiers and countless provincial politicians, and become a well-regarded commentator on B.C. affairs.


In addition to his newspaper columns, he provides daily commentary each morning on the Philip Till show on Vancouver radio station CKNW, as well as a weekly opinion piece on the Bill Good show on the same station.


His own award-winning television talk show, Voice of B.C., has aired on the Shaw Cable system for the past eight years.


He also edited To Canada With Love and Some Misgivings: The Best of Bruce Hutchison, a collection of writings by The Sun's editor emeritus, who died in 1992.


David Mitchell, a well-known B.C. author and former Sun columnist who has written biographies of several B.C. premiers and is currently vice-president of the University of Ottawa, said Palmer's award is well-deserved.


"In the world of political journalism, not only in B.C. but in Canada today, there are very few journalists who live up to this ideal and have gained this kind of perspective," said Mitchell, who also served five years as a provincial politician.


"It's in the tradition of the great political journalists in our country's history."


Webster Foundation co-chairman Chris Weafer said the judges were impressed by Palmer's honesty and integrity.


"He's dealing with very high-level issues in the province," he said. "In that realm, you have to have a high level of integrity and the ability not be intimidated in the pursuit of a story."


Palmer will receive his award at the annual Webster Foundation dinner on Oct. 30 in Vancouver.


Previous winners include Vicki Gabereau, Tony Parsons, Rafe Mair, Allan Fotheringham, Patrick Nagle, Roy Peterson, Cameron Bell, Keith Bradbury, Dan McLeod, Denny Boyd, George Garrett, Moira Farrow, Jim Hume, Warren Barker, Len Norris and Bruce Hutchison.





Vaughn Palmer has been the Vancouver Sun's provincial affairs political columnist, based in Victoria since 1984. His column appears on the Sun's page three five days a week. He has covered eight B.C. premiers -- and counting.


Palmer was born in Gaspe, P.Q., in 1952. He moved to B.C. in 1967 and finished high school in Nanaimo, where he never once played bingo. He attended the University of B.C. and worked on the student newspaper, the Ubyssey.


Palmer has worked for The Vancouver Sun since 1973. He started as a reporter and has also worked as an editorial writer and rock critic, an experience he describes as "only slightly more crazy than covering the B.C. legislature."


From 1980-82, he was city editor for The Sun. In 1982-83 Palmer attended Stanford University on a journalism fellowship. In 1988 he shared the Jack Webster Award for reporting with The Sun's Gary Mason.


In 1998, he was the winner of the Hyman Solomon Award for excellence in public policy journalism.




Who is Vaughn Palmer?


Vaughn Palmer has been the provincial political columnist for The Vancouver Sun since 1984. Based in Victoria, Vaughn has covered eight premiers during his time in the provincial capital and observed the full range of issues, personalities and scandals in our rich political scene.


Palmer was born in 1952 in a small English community near Gaspe, Quebec. He moved to British Columbia in 1967 with his parents. He finished high school in Nanaimo and attended the University of B.C. where he worked on the U.B.C. student newspaper, The Ubyssey.


He started as a reporter at The Vancouver Sun in 1973. Three years later, he became the paper's rock music critic. After four years in the music scene, he made the move to the news desks and was made city editor. Following two years as city editor, he spent a year in San Francisco, attending Stanford University on a journalism fellowship.


He returned to the paper in 1983 when, after a brief stint as editorial writer, he was appointed to write the provincial affairs column.


One of the most rewarding aspects of Palmerís Victoria posting was the opportunity to get to know The Sun's editor emeritus, Bruce Hutchison. Prior to Hutchison's death in 1992, Palmer edited a collection of his work, To Canada With Love and Some Misgivings: The Best of Bruce Hutchison (Douglas & McIntyre, 1991).





First Filed: 9/15/2006


Vaughn Palmer wins lifetime achievement award

BC provincial affairs columnist Vaughn Palmer has been named the 2006 recipient of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster Foundation.


The award is one of the most respected and prestigious in Canada, and recognizes Vaughn Palmer's contribution to journalism.


Since 1986, Palmer has covered eight premiers through a variety of upheavals in the volatile political life of British Columbia, making him the resident expert on the Legislature and one of the most sought-after commentators on politics and the issues that shape the province. 


BC Radio History